While I’m glad he’s no longer in the senate, I miss having Holy Joe Lieberman to kick around. I felt oddly nostalgic when I came across the QOTD.
In 2003, Joe Lieberman, at the time one of the worst Democratic senators, traveled to Arizona to campaign for his party’s presidential nomination and was regularly greeted by antiwar demonstrators. “He’s a shame to Democrats,” said the organizer of a protest outside a Tucson hotel, a left-wing social worker named Kyrsten Sinema. “I don’t even know why he’s running. He seems to want to get Republicans voting for him — what kind of strategy is that?”
A good question from an unlikely source. Veda Pierce Sinema has raised Lieberman-style malakatude to a new pinnacle. She’s so inaccessible to her constituents that they’ve taken to following her into public terlets.
Sinema’s numbers in Arizona have tanked over the course of the year. At one point she had a 65% overall approval rating at home, it’s below 50% now. Any gains she has made with Republicans have been offset by pissing off the people who put her in office.
Holy Joe Lieberman was an expert at alienating the Democratic base. He put personal friendship above party in 2008 by supporting McCain over Obama. That was the last straw for Nutmeg State Democrats who had rejected him in the 2006 primary obliging him to run as an independent. He narrowly won that race and withdrew from the 2012 race because he knew he was a stone cold loser.
The Sinematic Senator has gone from being a critic of Democrats like Holy Joe to being one of them. What is she thinking? Is she thinking at all? Beats the hell outta me.
It’s been reported that Sinema holds up former Arizona Sen. John McCain as a role model. McCain was, of course, a thorn in former President Donald Trump’s side and didn’t always vote in-line with his party.
If she’s trying to copy McCain’s ways, Sinema isn’t doing a great job. McCain usually voted with his party. In his final full year in the Senate, he voted with his party more than 90% of the time on party unity votes (i.e. those where at least 50% of one party voted a different way from 50% of the other party). This was about on par for him. McCain voted with his party less than the median senator, but not that much less.
Sinema is an entirely different legislator. She votes against her party far more than the median legislator on party unity votes, according to the CQ Almanac. From 2013 to 2019, she’s never voted with her party more than 75% of the time.
There is one way though in which Sinema is similar to McCain: She’s upsetting her party’s base.
The Sinematic Senator is more like the man she once picketed, Holy Joe Lieberman. The end of his career should serve as a cautionary tale for her, but she seems to be a slow learner as well as a bad listener. Stay tuned.